6 Games That are Brilliant for Baby Development
Making noise or weird faces may seem unimportant to you, but your baby will learn loads from these simple games. These are very basic games, which has the potential to boost your baby’s development. Most importantly, they will allow you to spend and create cheerful moments with your little one, while instigating discovery and connection. So, discover your inner child, and become your baby’s favorite play mate.
1. Mobile Play
Age range: Newborn to 6 months
Mobiles help your child develop visual-motor skills. As mobiles move, a baby has to pay attention to these objects in motion and control the direction of their gaze. You can either buy or create your own mobile by using different shapes, objects and contrasting colors, which easily grabs child’s attention. You can make it more attractive by moving it, switching the lights off and then shining light on it. You can also stimulate your child’s auditory senses by attaching bells to it.
Upgrade this game by using ribbons as your child crosses six months. Tie one end of the ribbon to an object, and tie the other end to your baby’s wrist. This activity will help your child understand that as he moves his hand, the object moves or makes a sound. As the child's understanding of the moving object gets better switch the ribbon to another wrist or ankle. However, if you observe your child getting bored, untie the ribbons immediately.
Note: Make sure that all the objects are properly fixed on the mobile. This activity should be conducted under supervision as the child can get tangled up with the ribbon while playing with it.
Age range: 3 months to 6 months
For this game, you have to grab your baby’s attention by standing by his crib, talking to him and giving him a big, animated smile. While your child is looking at you, cover your face with a pillow or cloth. Then ask your baby: “Where’s Mommy?” or “Where’s the baby?” and then instantly remove the cloth and say in a high-pitched and animated voice: “Here’s Mommy!” or “Here’s the Baby!” Your baby will love this game and make it more interesting by moving the cloth in different directions. Carry on this game for few minutes. This game will sharpen your baby’s auditory senses, and he will also learn how to filter particular sounds from the background noise.
Between 6 months to 9 months, your baby will actively participate in this game so, upgrade the game level. Play this game again, but this time you will not pull the cloth or pillow away from your face. This will be your baby’s task. As the baby pulls the cloth away from your face, you can exclaim: “Here’s Mommy!” This will help your child learn the concept of cause and effect.
3. The Mirror Game:
Age range: 3 months to 9 months
Babies love mirrors as they get a chance to gaze at their own reflection. You can attach an unbreakable mirror near your baby’s crib. Then, once a day you can introduce your baby to his beautiful face by pointing out to his reflection. Gently touch his ears, eyes, nose, and lips, and loudly name them so that your child hears it. At this point, he may not understand what these words mean, but he will be fascinated by this activity. Use this activity during the tummy-time session for creating more insight into your baby. Since the child has his own face for the company, he may lay down on his back calmly and contentedly.
This mirror game helps your baby to pay attention, identify images and discover the fascinating functions of a face. Additionally, it encourages social and emotional development as he interacts with you and his siblings.
4. My Photo Album
Age range: 6 months to 1 year
Once your child gets accustomed to his own face, start introducing the faces of other family members. This can be a real treat for your baby as he learns to recognize different faces by their name and association. Buy a small photo album and fill it with interesting snapshots of your baby and other family members. Do not forget to include photos of your neighbors, friends, babysitters and your pets.
Once a day you can sit with your baby and show him photos while naming them and revealing their relationship with your baby. In the beginning, he may just look at pictures and grab the pages as their fine motor skills are starting to develop. Soon, he may react to familiar faces with excitement and would be fascinated with the parade of interesting colors. Store the photo album as it will become your child’s favorite pastime.
5. Hide and Seek
Age range: 6 months to 12 months
To play this game, you need to gather some noise making toys such as squeaky ducks, musical toys and rattles. Start by showing the toy to the baby, then squeeze the duck to make a good, loud noise. Then, cover it with a blanket or a towel and then let the child uncover it. The second time, simply cover the toy again and then make it squeak. This fun game will give your baby a good laugh. It also motivates the baby to crawl, wiggle or walk to uncover the toy. Then take a rattle or musical shaker and play the same game with your baby.
This game with squeaky toys and rattles helps baby to learn hand-eye coordination and cause-and-effect-relationships. This game also enhances your child’s cognitive development as he hears the squeaky noise and tries to hunt the toy.
6. Telephone Talk
Age range: 3 months to 9 months
During three to nine months, a child tries to communicate with you by making different types of sounds. You can help your baby to keep working on their verbal skills by playing this game.
Take two play telephones and hold one receiver to your baby’s ear and take another receiver for yourself. Initiate the conversation by adopting a slow, exaggerated speaking method. Take a long pause after asking questions or making comments, and soon your baby will respond to you by making, babbling or cooing sounds. This is the best way to practice your baby’s verbal skills.
Remember that different children will learn these games at varying speed. Do not worry if the baby finds these games too hard or too easy. Change or upgrade the level of games as your child grows and develops an understanding of a particular activity. Remember, allow your baby to guide you in the games!